Posted on: April 30, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Nick Stulga

A younger Sylvia Jenkins helps a student in the library search for something on the computer.

By Aidan McGuire, News Editor, and Nick Stulga, Editor-in-Chief

Our college president got her start as a part-time librarian at Moraine.

Now, more than 36 years later, the Moraine Valley library officially has been renamed the Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins Library in honor of President Jenkins and her work for the college. Board Chair Brian O’Neill announced the news on April 18, during National Library Workers Appreciation Day.

“Jenkins was hired in 1986 as a part-time public services librarian and became a full-time faculty librarian just two years later,” he said. 

Jenkins found the position through an ad in the paper after her move to Chicago.

“I opened the Chicago Tribune in December of 1986 and there was a job at Moraine Valley Community College,” Jenkins said.

She took that job and eventually went on to become the dean overseeing the Center for Teaching and Learning and the library, where she impacted many people’s lives in a positive way.

Moraine librarian Joe Mullarkey was one such person. He was hired by Jenkins when she still worked in the library. 

“She did a lot around here, spent a lot of time around here, and definitely improved the campus,” Mullarkey said. “Her door was always open. Always open.”

Jenkins said she was grateful for the renaming, expanding on how much of a connection she has to the library.

“Naming the library after me is one of the greatest honors because libraries are the bedrock of knowledge, and we need knowledge in order to grow,” Jenkins said. “Out of all the spaces on campus, the library is me. It’s part of me.” 

Among other renovations, a large mural has been installed in the library with Jenkins’ portrait.

Mullarkey is supportive of this change. He reminisced about his friendship with Jenkins, working alongside her in the library when he was first hired. “I think it’s well deserved,” he said.

Jenkins says helping people was always important to her.

“When you do your best every day to help people, you’re not doing it because you expect something in return, you’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.

She also made light of the situation.

“I thought it was a rule that you couldn’t change a building name ever, but thank you for breaking the rules,” she said. “And you know, this is perfect, you know, this is my life here.”